Only thrown 20 times over four major league innings, Banda’s go-to secondary pitch didn’t generate a single swinging strike in 2019. Despite a perfect 100% contact rate when swinging at Banda’s changeups, batters were held to a .143 BAA and .174 wOBA.
Enjoy a rare glimpse of Banda’s curveball; the Rays reliever subsists heavily on a steady diet of fastballs and changeups, so the seldom-used curve is an afterthought in his arsenal.
Banda’s fastball lost a tick or two of velocity after posting a 4.0 pVAL in 2018, and batters jumped on the pitch for a .500 BAA and .539 wOBA. Primarily generating ground balls a season earlier, Banda’s four-seamer ground-ball rate plummeted from 53.1% to 11.1% in 2019, albeit in a smaller sample size.
Thrown 78.42% of the time in 2018, Banda’s four-seam fastball averaged 94.5 mph. A 53.1% ground-ball rate helped him manage contact, and the result was a .211 batting average against and a .342 slugging percentage against. It was his best and most-valuable pitch according to pVal with a 4.0 mark.
Banda’s changeup was only thrown 36 times in 2018, and yet it returned negative value. Opposing batters slashed .273/.333/.455 against the pitch despite a 75% contact rate. Overall, it was worth a -1.0 pVal.
Banda’s third option is this breaking ball, which would get more time if Banda falls into a strong starting role. Meanwhile, expect it to keep its low usage rate as Banda doesn’t have a clear path to many innings per game.